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Lecturers White
Event Date: 03/06/2017
Author: Allison
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Location: Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Saint George, Kingstown
In spite of the fact, Machiavelli is greatly influenced by the Greek and Latin classics, and by the bible, he takes a critical stance in dealing with the idea of morality. A Prince's main duty is the preservation of his country and the protection of his subjects. "A Prince, therefore should have no care or thought but for war, and the regulations and training it requires, and should apply himself exclusively to this as his peculiar province; for war is the sole art looked for in one who rules" (Machiavelli, P. 70). This is not far from what we look for in Republican societies. Machiavelli believes a good leader's main responsibility is to preserve his country first. According to Salmon: Machiavelli says that rulers should be truthful, keep promises, and the like when doing so will not harm the state, and that they should generally appear to have the traditional virtues. But since the goal of the ruler is to conquer and preserve the state, he should not shrink from wrongdoing when the preservation of the state requires this. Thus, the classical concept of civic virtue, which is a moral code applicable to rulers and subjects alike, is critically transformed in Machiavelli's concept of virtu', which pertains to rulers of states and can be at odds with moral virtue. (Salmon, Merrilee H, "Landmarks in Critical Thinking Series: Machiavelli's The Prince" )
Though on the surface, this statement may sound like an advertisement for a monarchal society, it was in reality merely a resignation to the fact that man is simply incapable of governing himself, though Locke saw that as the ideal. He vociferously spoke out against the divine right of kings and argued that governments should rely upon the consent of the people. Locke was convinced that human beings were born with "blank" minds and that only through experience could a person begin to form ideas.
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